Mint is awarding a scholarship of £4000 ($6000) to help a university leaver or recent graduate launch a business. We are looking for someone with a promising idea and the personal characteristics to turn it into a success.
If you win the scholarship, you will have two months to develop your idea, working in the entrepreneurial environment of Mint Digital.
At the end of this time the idea will remain 100% yours. We hope you'll want to develop it further with Mint, in which case we'll try to offer you a deal that will allow us to keep collaborating.
Why is Mint doing this?We want to steer talented people away from a career in banking. We want to help create a new digital business. We think it might be fun.
What have you got against bankers?We haven’t got anything against bankers. Our current CEO, our previous CEO and many talented Mints have worked in financial services.
It’s just that too many of the best and the brightest in the UK and the USA work for banks and other large companies, especially when they are first starting their careers. We believe there are better ways to enjoy capitalism.
Entrepreneurs are born not made. Won't a scholarship attract the wrong sort of people?Nonsense. There are lots of people who would benefit from a nudge in the right direction. (I know I did.)
Do I have to prove that I am a banker or I would go into banking?No. If you are considering a career in consulting or advertising or any large company, we are just as keen to save you from yourself.
Do I need technical skills to apply?No. We are primarily looking for a good idea and an entrepreneurial attitude. That said, if you have technical skills feel free to apply. Any technical skills would be a lovely bonus.
Can I apply in a team?Yes. If a team wins, you'll be asked to share the scholarship and you can all come and work at Mint together (perhaps for a shorter time, if you'd rather not stretch the funding over two months.)
What sort of ideas are you looking for?We’re big fans of seed accelerators like Y Combinator and Techstars. Like them, we’re not focused on any particular sector or business model. As long as you’re passionate about it we want to hear from you.
How will you choose the winner?We'll select a shortlist who will be called for interview and we will offer the scholarship to the candidate(s) who we are most excited by.
What happens during the scholarship?
You work from a Mint office, refining and testing your product vision. You might do this by either engaging with your target market or producing prototypes. We believe it’s important to test and refine your idea in the face of real world users.
One of Mint's founders will be available for a weekly meeting, as well as an office full of talented individuals from whom to draw experience and bounce ideas off of. We have spun out our own ideas in the past and will do our best to introduce you to potential investors and partners in the future.
More generally, we hope you will benefit from working in an environment surrounded by innovators, designers and software engineers.
What happens at the end of the two months?Here are some possible scenarios, in order of what we'd most like to happen:
- Your idea coalesces into something promising. You and Mint agree to build a prototype with the aim of securing angel investment and/or launching to the world.
- Your idea coalesces into something promising. You go off and make it happen on your own.
- Your idea doesn't quite work out. But we get on. You stay around and work for Mint.
- You decide the life of a swashbuckling web entrepreneur is not for you and take a job in an investment bank.
Where will the scholarship be based?Either in our London or New York office. You must be eligible to work in the EU or the USA, respectively.
How do I apply?Fill in this form. Applications close on July 15th and interviews will happen the week or two following. (Note: the deadline for applications has now passed.)
(Photo credit: @boetter)
UPDATE: Congratulations to Chris and Zac for winning this scholarship.
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